The Wilson Wetlands Trail is a tiny boardwalk trail running from the Wilson Post Office to Owen Bircher Park. I’ve driven past this little spot and wanted to stop and explore many times, but living in Hoback Junction, I don’t spend a lot of time on the Westbank. What a treat I had in store! I arrived at 5 PM & left my gear in the car so I could scope out a spot. I took a few moments to appreciate the Green Knoll Fire memorial sculpture – what a wonderful tribute to the firefighters who protected our friends and land!
Then I stepped onto the boardwalk and into a hidden world. The rivulet of clear water that runs through the willows supports a microcosm of plant, bird, and insect life and a rainbow of color. There were moose and deer tracks all around the edges of the water, and as I set up my easel, a large dragonfly lit on a long blade of grass as if curious to see what I was doing. The trail is so enclosed by tall willows and cottonwoods that it feels completely removed from the rest of sleepy Wilson, but while painting I could hear children playing in the park, horses whinnying for their feed, and cars buzzing by on their way up the pass. I felt invisible to the world, like I was swallowed up by the tiny wetland ecosystem. Only 3 bikers – one with a toddler in tow, and one with a big, friendly dog – passed me in the two hours that I painted on the boardwalk. What an idyllic little escape, just feet from the post office and Hungry Jack’s. If you haven’t taken advantage of this little gem, I highly recommend it!